Highland head coach Davie Carson insists he has not given up hope of his side having a say in the National 1 title race.
The Inverness outfit have dropped to seventh in the table, after losing their last two matches against Cartha Queen’s Park and Gala.
Highland have a break from action this weekend ahead of their next fixture away to Stirling Wolves next Friday, and Carson aims to maximise the downtime ahead of a crucial run of fixtures.
Carson said: “We will speak to the players next week – but the league is by no means over.
“Everyone is going to beat everyone in this league, and there are a lot of big games to come right over the winter.
“We did some small-sided games this week, trying to put a bit of fun into it and have a laugh. We had the firsts, seconds and thirds players all mixed up and trying to help each other out.
“The week’s rest has been good, as it has probably been 10 weeks on the trot now since pre-season. It has been good for them to recoup themselves and refresh the bodies a bit.
“We will get into the serious stuff next week. Hopefully we will get back to winning ways next Friday against Stirling.
“After Stirling we will then start the return games, when we are away to Ayr, at home to Kelso and away to Heriot’s before Christmas.
“There are still loads of games to play, and there are points available in all of them if we perform to how we have done. Everyone is looking forward to it.”
Carson bemoans early-season defeats
Highland suffered late disappointment last weekend when a penalty in the dying minutes consigned them to a 16-15 loss at home to Gala.
Carson says the defeat only served to make him more frustrated about previous losses earlier in the campaign.
He added: “It was a great game of rugby. There was a big crowd, two good sides and it went right down to the last minute when they got the penalty.
“The boys were really disappointed to lose by a point at home. It’s never easy after you’ve been in the lead up until the last few minutes.
“I’m disappointed as it puts us down to mid-table. On reflection, if we had won the games we had expected to win against Cartha and Ayr, we would be right up in the mix in second or third.
“We played well, but they played slightly better to win it. The performance was good, we were just beaten by the better side at the end of the day.”